Saturday, October 04, 2008
Nature Day: Heceta Beach and Sweet Creek Falls
"We really should go hiking together/go to the beach together/do a project together sometime." I wish I had a dollar for every time I've said that to my sister.
We were talking about her trip to Sweet Creek Falls, and I said it again: "We should take the kids there. Or maybe we should just take them all to the beach sometime."
I said, "Let's pick a day right now. Then we'll write it on our calendars. Then we'll remember."
So we did.
(Ha. Guess who forgot until I called her that morning. I'd make even more fun of her if I hadn't done the exact same thing before.)
We decided to just go to the beach. You have to understand something about the Northwest Pacific coast. Most folks think of going to the beach as swimming, surfing, basking in the sun in bikinis. Like you'd do in, say, California or Florida. In Oregon, you bring your windbreaker, long pants and a sweater along with your sand toys and beach blanket. The water is freezing, not for the faint of heart, and instead of swimming, you wade and jump in the waves.
It was in the low 70's when we left home. Optimistic me, I put on a pair of shorts. Doh! By the time we crossed the Coast Range it had dropped to a respectable but bearable mid-60's. "Uh-oh," I thought as we neared the beach. It was sunny and bright almost into the town of Florence, but as we drove along the river toward town, we could see the wall of clouds hovering over the beach. Oh well. We headed there anyway.
It was 56 degrees and windy. The kids had a great time.
The moms were cold. We lasted almost an hour, then we packed up and headed to picnic and hike at Sweet Creek Falls instead.
It's a beautiful drive to get there. It's a beautiful hike. The path we took followed Sweet Creek up past lots of little falls and cascades. It was a little rocky and slippery, but nice and short, easily hikeable even for the littlest folks.
When we got to the falls, there were lots of boulders and logs for climbing clear across the creek, but only for those who already knew how to swim. Non-swimmers had to stay where moms could reach them.
We'll definitely head back, maybe without going to the beach so that we can explore a little longer, and maybe even head to Beaver Creek Falls just up the road.